Before the following sentence I state that "we could train the "XX" function by using certain idea in an optimization problem for a model."
Then I want to say:

Moreover, we could also train, by using a same idea or new ideas, the "YY" function and bring in different models in one optimization problem. In this way I suppose we shall have a better result, even.

Question 1: Should I use could or can? (Solved)
Question 2: Do I use even correctly?
Question 3: How may I write this sentence better...? I feel weird when I read it...

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Glorfindel, pyobum, Sander, M.A.R. Aug 15 '15 at 13:49

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  • @FumbleFingers ah sorry. Could or can is just a btw question. My main question is 2 and 3. – JumpJump Aug 14 '15 at 13:22
  • Moreover, we could also train, by using the same idea [whatever that idea may be] or new ideas, the "YY" function and bring (omitted 'in') different models in one optimization problem. (Omitted 'in') This way, I suppose we shall even have a better result. (moved even) - just a suggestion. – shin Aug 14 '15 at 13:25
  • Sorry - but perhaps you should have asked two questions. Personally I'd say your position for even sounds klunky. I'd move it to ...an even better result. I'd also move by using a same idea or new ideas to before we could also train, becauise you've got too much verbiage between the verb (train) and the object (the "XX" function). But this is all "writing style advice", probably Off Topic. – FumbleFingers Aug 14 '15 at 13:25
  • @shin: I think although moving even so it modifies have rather than better is "credible", it carries relatively unlikely implications. We'd have to assume there's also some other (obvious, but unstated) advantage to the "training" for that placement, whereas if even comes immediately before better we only need to assume that previous results (without the training) were already relatively good (so they can become even better). – FumbleFingers Aug 14 '15 at 13:34
  • @FumbleFingers, Thank you for adding that essential point. I didn't assume as I do not know the exact context (I'm afraid that modifying better may sound a bit 'pushy', than the other? I don't know if OP wants to have it that way) – shin Aug 14 '15 at 14:00

Regarding can/could:

Could is used to express a conditional statement. With could, you are saying if condition x, then i am able to y. A full conditional statement will have two clauses, one containing could and the other expressing the condition - either may be omitted if context supplied that information earlier, though.

Can just means is able to and doesn't necessarily have to be connected with a condition, though it often is. (As an aside, could can also be the past tense form of can.)

Some examples to illustrate:

I could make more money if I go to school and get a degree. (Conditional statement.)

I can make more money by getting a degree from a school. (Expresses a conditional idea IMHO but not really a conditional statement.)

And of course you'll hear in real-life speech people using these two interchangeably.

In your sentence I would use can because you don't have a second clause that expresses a condition, to me you are saying we can do by using {object} more than we could do X if {clause}.

Regarding even:

In this way I suppose we shall have a better result, even.

Even can be an adverb and like most adverbs it is flexible where it can be placed. However, where you have it, it seems to convey "additional" because it seems to modify the entire clause "In this way I suppose we shall have a better result." Similar to this:

He gave me 500 dollars. I can buy food, and talk to a repair person about fixing my windows, even.

Here, food is the primary benefit, and clothes is an additional "side" benefit. Even would seem weird if I did not mention an initial benefit, unless context/previous conversation filled in the blanks. Unless I'm missing something there seems to be only one "benefit" provided in your sentence (unless "different optimization models" is that other benefit.)

  • 1
    We use could for reasons besides expressing conditionality. I could use it to express possibility. Could I use it to ask a question, even? Yes! – Jim Reynolds Aug 15 '15 at 5:57

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